Thread: Discussion fuselages
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 11:59 PM
G_T is offline
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Hi Charles,

General public. These fuselages are a perfect match for an Edge-2P or Edge-4P (I still like flying them, though it takes a while to learn how - they grow on you). Or a JJEdge wing that needs a new fuselage. Other wings will require a bit of splooge.

I have a few reasons for making these. (1) Get something durable out there for builders to use (2) Get good with the process of making these (3) See if I want to make fuselages for a kit of my own design (4) Get a little cash return for my effort.

I've now gotten the quality to be minimally good enough IMHO (better than average in the industry) though they are not perfect and probably never will be.

So far, even though the price isn't cheap, it isn't worth my time to do the work. Too much effort goes into each fuselage. So I'm working to streamline the process.

Were I starting again, there are some things I know to do which would save time. Use a semi-permanent mold release. It is faster to apply than PVA, doesn't show as much in the part, and dries much faster. So that would save a bit of time. CNC mold with hatch recess machined in, or a separate mold for a nosecone. That would save a bit of time as well. Different fabric selection - that will be happening when I run out of fabric relatively soon and end up placing an order.

Unfortunately one of the things which would help is a fatter fuselage. I'm not willing to go that direction. I don't want the extra drag and I don't need to do it for stiffness. Really I don't even need to do it for weight... Mine are getting lighter as I go along, but they are still super tough compared to most. That toughness is really what is costing the small weight increase compared to some other fuselages out there. I could drop a gram in a heartbeat, out of the tailboom (best place to drop weight!), but then the tailboom would be as fragile as most others out there. It would still be stiff enough. It would even be easier/faster to make, probably saving me 10 minutes per fuselage.

Actually, all of you paying attention to this thread can let me know if you would like the benefit of a little lighter tailboom at the cost of a tailboom which is not shatterproof. Personally I doubt it is worth the tradeoff for the majority of pilots. I'm not even sure I'd make the change. But I am curious what you think.

I could certainly reduce fabric up front, but then it would be as weak as most other fuselages out there.

Reducing fabric layers would be the biggest thing that would reduce my production time. Fewer pieces to cut; fewer pieces to apply. There have been fuselages out there that have gone that direction. If they are light they are fragile. Right now I have 6 pieces of tow and 26 pieces of fabric - soon to be 27. Plus some stuff that goes into the nose to make it tough, and two batches of specialized splooge. The prep time for one of these is a killer. Every Kevlar piece has to be cut with scissors (7) ... At least the glass and carbon pieces can be cut with a rolling disc cutter that looks like a high-tech pizza slicer.

The mold generally gets waxed every other fuselage and that is another thing which takes time.

How long I continue making fuselages available will depend on how fast I can make the process.

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